Artisan Chocolate Making II at the Hartstone Inn, April 25th & 26th
April 19, 2009
In the heart of Camden, just about a block from the Stop N Go, and a short walk from the glittering waterfront, is the aptly-named Hartstone Inn. Last December, innkeepers Mary Jo and Michael took a chance and asked me to teach a class on chocolate making as part of the inn’s cooking school. I jumped at the opportunity.
If you’ve read my blog or know me at all, then you know I don’t usually think things through. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of decisions I’ve made in my life that I’ve actually thought long and hard about–and to good result, so one wonders why I don’t do it more often.
In my defense, December IS a pretty busy time in the chocolate world. After a season of doubling our retail sales, we were looking at the very real possibility of shooting through the roof for the winter holidays. Had I, in a tiny moment of insanity back in October, really agreed to pack it all up and leave the island for two days to teach a class down the coast?
Well, I had, and I did, and while it wasn’t a flawless performance, we all had a GREAT time (evidence in the above picture, courtesy of Michael’s blog site). Michael and the inn’s sous chef, Zeph, are two the nicest, most helpful, gracious and professional people alive, and their welcome and gentle guidance that weekend really made the whole thing a success. If you’re interested, you can read more about that class on Michael’s blog.
To my delight, Michael and Mary Jo have asked me back for a follow up class next weekend. I plan to cover various hand-tempering techniques, “shell” and figurine moulding, and the making of chocolate decorations, including the use of colored cocoa butter and transfer sheets. This is a hands-on course, and though some of the techniques are quite advanced, all that’s required of participants is a willingness to have fun and get your hands a little chocolate-y. We’ll taste our creations at the end of class and you will be able to take a box of your handmade chocolates home with you.
The classes are from 1-3, Saturday or Sunday, and you can call the Hartstone Inn at 1.800.788.4823 to save your spot. While you’re at it, you might as well make reservations for dinner, too. Michael and Zeph are sure to be cooking up something fabulous.
Tomorrow: Chocolate making demonstration class at the Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School in York, Maine.